Siver Lining


I like to read books twice. Not all books but certainly the good ones.

It’s amazing the things that you miss the first time.

Take Douglas Valentine’s–The CIA As Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World. It blew me away the first time I read it, but the second time was more fruitful. I realized that I’d missed one of Valentine’s most provocative points–That while the US might have lost the Vietnam War, the CIA’s Phoenix Program provided a silver lining by demonstrating how the US could control enemy populations during a conflict.

Subsequently, Phoenix changed how America fights its ongoing wars and how the public views this new type of political and psychological warfare, in which civilian casualties are an explicit objective.

Valentine has been researching the CIA for over 30 years and has interviewed over 100 CIA officers during that period. (Read the book to find out how he gained their confidence) What he learned about our country in the process is sobering.

“The ruling class within the National Security Establishment, represented most perfectly by Hillary Clinton, know that its enemies, foreign and domestic, must be suppressed ideologically as well as militarily. Thus they have embraced the Phoenix concept of employing implicit and explicit terror to control, organize and pacify societies. Phoenix was always understood as the silver lining in the Vietnam debacle. The aforementioned CIA officer, Warren Milberg, wrote a thesis in 1974 titled, “The Future Applicability of the Phoenix Program.” Many of the CIA and military officers I interviewed wrote similar papers extolling Phoenix.”

Phoenix holds the key to understanding US foreign policies. Like regime-change. Or, the deployment of Al Qaeda and Nazis as terrorists proxies. Or, the Salvador Option.

Not only foreign policies but domestic ones as well.

The creation of the Homeland Security Department in the wake of 9/11 was based on the Phoenix model, leading to the creation of  anti-terror strategies and tactics to use against the American people. The government has enacted administrative detention laws, which are the legal basis for Phoenix-style operations, so that civilians can be arrested on suspicion of being a threat to national security. Phoenix was a bureaucratic method of coordinating agencies involved in intelligence gathering with those conducting anti-terror operations, and the Department of Homeland Security has established fusion centers based on this model around the nation. Psychological operations against the American people have also proliferated since 9-11.

For instance, Jade Helm, the controversial military training exercise carried out in Texas, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Utah, was modeled after Phoenix, where military and local officials set up Phoenix-style coordination centers as a way of giving the military Special Operations and Civil Affairs units experience working together with local police forces in a realistic domestic counterinsurgency operation.

Valentine argues that: “Just as as Phoenix Intelligence Operations and Coordination Centers were established in every province and district in South Vietnam, the Department of Homeland Security has now established fusion centers, and the FBI has established Joint Terrorism Task Forces, to coordinate representatives from every police, security, military and civic organization in every state and major city.”

For most Americans the notion that our premier intelligence agency is akin to organized crime is rejected with prejudice.

Valentine acquired his initial inkling as a young man, thanks to his father, a WWII veteran who survived a Japanese POW camp.

“My father stepped into the street and I followed him. He stood behind the delivery truck. Wondering what the hell was going on, I watched while he threw open the doors. The guy who took down names and numbers was sitting in the front passenger seat beside the delivery truck driver; three village cops were sitting on boxes in the back of the truck. Cash and slips of paper were being exchanged.

“Take a good look”, my father said. “This is the true relationship between crime and law enforcement.”’

Valentine offers some good advice to make sense of a world where the cops work with criminals.

“Most people never make that rite of passage. The entire academic world is clueless, and most of the middle class as well. They think the cops are there to protect them, and if they’re white and keep their mouths shut and do what they’re told, the cops might make an effort, if there’s something in it for them. Otherwise they make sure that crime is properly organized, and that the rich and powerful are happy. To think of the cops otherwise is crazy.”

Valentine says that the corporate media is essential to the public’s positive perception of the CIA.

“The media prevents you from knowing how you’re being dominated, by keeping the CIA’s secrets. The media and the CIA are same thing. Any domestic Phoenix-style organization or operation depends on double-speak and deniability, as well as official secrecy and media self-censorship. The CIA’s overarching need for total control of information requires media complicity.”

The most salient thing about how the CIA is organized as a criminal conspiracy is the reason for it. And, no it’s not about intelligence gathering or keeping America safe from the bad guys.

It’s about the control the US elite maintain over our country and the world.

Valentine opens The CIA As Organized Crime, with a quotation from Johan Galtung that explains how the elite maintain this control.

“Personal violence is for the amateur in dominance, structural violence is the tool of the professional. The amateur who wants to dominate uses guns; the professional uses social structure.”

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